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Articles about Vegetable Crops for the Garden

  Advantages of Container Vegetable Gardens
  Best Vegetable Crops for Containers
  Brandywine Tomatoes - Get the Most From This Heirloom Variety
  Choosing a Site For Your Home Vegetable Garden
  Container Vegetable Gardening Tips
  Container Vegetable Gardens
  Double Your Crops
  Getting Children Interested in Growing Vegetables
  Grow Your Own Salad
  Growing Tomatoes in Pots
  Growing Vegetable Plants Becomes More Than Just A Hobby
  How to Grow a Vegetable Garden
  Indoor Container Vegetable Gardening Ideas
  Indoor Vegetable Gardening How to Tips
  Learning About Indoor Container Vegetable Gardening
  List of vegetable crops by difficulty
  Mushroom Growing in Odd Unused Spaces
  Non Hybrid Seeds For Survival Gardening
  Organic Container Gardening - Simple and Easy Ways to Grow Vegetables and Flowers in Pots
  Organic Vegetable Cultivation Table
  Over Wintering Chilli Pepper Plants
  pH preferences of food crops
  Planning your Container Crops
  Planting Tomatoes Upside Down
  Potato Container Garden Tips
  Preparing a Vegetable Garden
  Review: Food4Wealth by Jonathan White
  Vegetable Container Garden Tips
  Vegetable Crops in alphabetical order by name
  Why I Recommend Vegetable Container Gardening
  Why Vegetable Container Gardening is Getting More Popular Today Than Ever
  How to grow organic Asparagus
  How to grow organic Aubergines
  How to grow organic Beetroot
  How to grow organic Broad beans
  How to grow organic Broccoli
  How to grow organic Brussels sprouts
  How to grow organic Cabbage
  How to grow organic Calabrese
  How to grow organic Carrot
  How to grow organic Cauliflower
  How to grow organic Celeriac
  How to grow organic Celery
  How to grow organic Celtuce
  How to grow organic Chinese broccoli
  How to grow organic Chinese cabbage
  How to grow organic Chicory
  How to grow organic Corn
  How to grow organic Cucumbers and Gherkins
  How to grow organic Endive
  How to grow organic Florence fennel
  How to grow organic French beans
  How to grow organic Garlic
  How to grow organic Globe artichokes
  How to grow organic Jerusalem artichokes
  How to grow organic Kale and borecole
  How to grow organic Kohl rabi
  How to grow organic Komatsuna
  How to grow organic Land cress
  How to grow organic Leaf beet
  How to grow organic Leeks
  How to grow organic Lettuce
  How to grow organic Mizuna
  How to grow organic Mustard greens
  How to grow organic New Zealand spinach
  How to grow organic Onions
  How to grow organic Parsnips and Hamburg Parsley
  How to grow organic Peas
  How to grow organic Peppers (hot and sweet)
  How to grow organic Potatoes
  How to grow organic Radishes
  How to grow organic Rocket
  How to grow organic Runner beans
  How to grow organic Salad onions
  How to grow organic Salsify, Scorzonera and Scolymus
  How to grow organic Seakale
  How to grow organic Shallots
  How to grow organic Spinach
  How to grow organic Squash
  How to grow organic Swede
  How to grow organic Texsel greens
  How to grow organic Tomatoes
  How to grow organic Turnips




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Organic Gardening:


How to grow organic Leeks


by

Leeks
Leeks are very popular in Wales

Leeks

Allium porrum

Family: Liliaceae (Group 6)

One of the most useful of the hardy winter vegetables. Leeks do best on an open site, in rich, well worked, light, loamy soils, into which plenty of well rotted manure or compost has been worked. Leeks will not grow on compacted soil. Ideal pH is 6.5-7.5.

Cultivation details for the herb sometimes called Chinese Leek are in the herbs section.

Leeks have a fibrous root system and help to improve soil structure. Belgian studies indicate that including leeks in a rotation may help to reduce the occurrence of clubroot in brassicas.

There are early cultivars ready from about September to November, mid-season cultivars maturing December to February, and late cultivars for harvest from March to early May. Earlier cultivars tend to be longer and thinner, with pale foliage; later ones are thicker with dark green, nearly blue leaves (flags). They are also hardier.

Recommended varieties

Earlies: Walton MammothLarge leeks which will stand throughout Winter until required
King RichardMy favourite. Produces nice thin leeks, which will stay fine until required, right through Winter.
Mid-season: MusselburghVery popular variety bred in Scotland. Hardy, with a good flavour.
SnowstarA modern variety, similar to Musselburgh.
Lates: Winter CropThe hardiest variety, suitable for very exposed sites in the North of the country.

Cultivation

Soil temperature for germination is 46º F (7º C) minimum. Early sowings should be made indoors in gentle heat in January or February in trays or in modules, 3-4 seeds per cell. Outdoor sowings can be made from March to early May, earlier with cloche protection. Sow 2.5cm (1") deep. Seedlings should be thinned to 4cm (1½") apart.

Transplantation of leeks starts in early June and may continue until early August as space becomes available. Obviously, the earlier transplantation takes place, the bigger the final crop is likely to be. The traditional way, to produce the longest white shanks, is to transplant individual leeks into 15-20cm (6-8") deep holes made with a dibber in a V-shaped trench to make it easier to earth them up later in the season. Do not trim the roots or leaves. Transplants are simply dropped into the holes and watered in. They will fill naturally with soil gradually through the growing season. As plants grow earth them up by drawing dry soil around the shank; do this several times during the growing season.

Leeks should be watered well after transplanting. If the weather is dry, daily watering at about ¼ pint per plant per day is necessary until they are established. Thereafter, additional watering is only necessary if very large leeks are desired: the more water, the bigger the leeks.

Highest yields are obtained at spacings of 15cm by 30cm (6"x12"). Spacing at 7-10cm (3-4") apart will result in smaller, slender leeks. Alternatively, space at 17cm each way (7"x7"). Multiple sown modules can be planted at spacings of 22cm each way (9"x9").

Harvest leeks as required from October to June. Mid-season and late cultivars may be left to stand outside all winter. Even early leeks will stand for 3 months when mature. If the ground is needed for a spring crop, leeks may be lifted and heeled in temporarily elsewhere.

Pests and diseases

Most common is rust, but the damage is usually mainly cosmetic and confined to the outer leaves.

Onion white rot can be a problem, worst in hot dry summers. Symptoms are yellow, wilting foliage and fluffy white mould around the roots, in which round black fruiting bodies appear. Affected plants should be lifted and burnt. No alliums should be grown on infected land for at least 8 years.

Stem and bulb eelworm is the most serious problem likely to occur, and is dealt with by rotation and keeping the ground weed-free.



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